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Harnessing unstructured data

In addition to eliminating the traditional limitations of vendor lock-in and the rigidity of being told what AI firms must use, composable AI’s capital value proposition is in effectively structuring the reams of unstructured data organizations have. Its inclusion into composable processes and applications fortifies this attribute that naturally extends throughout content services as a discipline. According to Adams, “Content services play an important role in adding rich, contextual information stored in files and documents, alongside the structured data that is pulled from line of business systems.” Frequently, the contextual information is based on metadata, tagging, and data lineage, which is cataloged and readily shared throughout the organization to maximize its reuse for different enterprise content management needs.

With any number of content service methods—such as RPA, business process management, and other no-code or low-code application building techniques—which are designed to identify the germane unstructured information in documents and propagate that information into structured data systems, this discipline’s merit is exponential. “We’re seeing new use cases pop up where businesses need to collaborate with customers and trusted third parties throughout a given business process, such as remotely executing a mortgage transaction from start to finish,” Adams said. This use case exemplifies the expanding worth of composable content services for conquering unstructured data. It also illustrates the relevance of composable content services to external collaborations.

Additionally, this particular content services use case typifies the very essence of composability. Composable content services are able to provide rapid composition of applications and user understanding of data across modules, vendors, services, and content structure variations. “In these conversational-oriented experiences, structured data from line of business systems needs to blend with unstructured data from content services platforms,” Adams pointed out. “It’s beginning to look like the next iteration of the case management paradigm, where the user experience is driven in a conversation, rather than in queues and inboxes.”

Cloud architecture

As previously indicated, content services themselves are scions of the software-as-a-service delivery model that is enabled by cloud computing. Composable content services maximize this utility by hurdling any limits to the different modules or application components involved in this paradigm. Users can select components of choice from hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, poly-cloud, edge computing, and on-premise deployments. Poly-cloud applications represent the paragon of composable content services by allowing firms to simultaneously run different parts of applications in different clouds, such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Azure. Significantly, even resources that are on-premise are readily incorporated into this composable architecture based on the cloud.

Such digital agents or bots are critical for pairing resources across settings— such as the cloud and on-premise—or just between sources or services. In this respect, the modern-day connectors and standardized approaches for transitioning resources between environments are infallible for composable content services. They also simplify this process to make it accessible to business end users composing applications. “When there’s stuff in a workflow that says we need data from this on-premise application, that triggers a remote agent that detects that data’s needed and then does that look-up, pulls that data from an on-premise system, then passes it up securely to the cloud system, where it can be part of that very modern, up-to- date process,” Rapelje said. Additional cloud benefits include burst computing, elasticity, and scalability. Moreover, in the last 2 years, because of a combination of the pandemic and more people working remotely, cloud vendors have made progress in compliance, privacy, and data location, Donze said.

Greater than the sum of the parts

Composable content services are of considerable consequence to the con- temporary enterprise. They broaden the capability to compose workflows, applications, and entire processes for the business users incorporating these activities into their daily work. They also allow these users and their organizations to employ a best-of-breed approach to constructing these workflows.

“Companies bought everything in the olden days from SAP,” Bates noted. “Now, they’re definitely in a best-of-breed world. You’ll see SAP still very strong in ERP, but you might see Salesforce.com as their CRM. You might see Workday as their HCM system. You might see ServiceNow as their service automation. You might see Microsoft 365 suite, and so on.”

Composable content services enable users to cull from these resources (and more) to compose cohesive applications—creating more value from the latter than is individually found in these sources. Moreover, there’s a pronounced flexibility involved in which services can be exchanged to meet particular business conditions or circumstances.

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